Computing - Chapter 3

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What is software?
The term given to the programs we run on our computers. The programs are the stored sets of instructions sets of instructions that are given to the processor to carry out. Software also refers to the data used by programs.
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How is software installed on dedicated systems?
On a chip of some sort. This software is specific to the job and is only changed when updated i.e. a washing machine embedded system is only ever going to run software to control a washing machin
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What are multi-purpose computers?
i.e. desktop PCs + phones run different programs to the wishes of the user and often store their software on a secondary storage medium i.e a hard disk, a memory stick, an SD card, an optical d
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What are the three types of software?
System software: controls the hardware. Application software: handles the real-world jobs that users want to do. Utility software: has limited functionality and is used to maintain computer systems.
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What is system software?
Software that controls the hardware. It: hides the complexities of the hardware from the user and the application programmer + allows the user to operate the computer without having to write programs.
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What is the operating system?
The software that controls the hardware and creates a user interface to run application software – User Interface, peripheral management, Multi-tasking, memory management, Security.
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What is the user interface (OS)?
The user interface is the boundary between the human user and the machine. The interface: lets the user give commands, asks questions and displays a response i.e. Windows
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What is a GUI?
A Graphical User Interfaces uses icons to represent resources, files, programs + actions. Pros: No special training required, no commands need to be learned, they’re intuitive, keyboard use = limited –useful where there’s a small/virtual keyboard
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When is command line interface used?
When: the situation allows little power, to service/modify a machine in a factory (basic OS), to set up routers/firewalls (admin).
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What is a menu driven interface?
When a limited range of options are needed to perform a task i.e. bank ATM. Pros: no training needed to operate system, limited choice increases system security.
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Windows is an example of a GUI (Graphical user information). Describe 4 features of windows.
Allows you to move data between software applications, explore the internet + type up research, find + open files while still keeping the original application open & move + organise files using a source + destination window.
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What is command line interface?
An interface that requires the user to type commands to communicate with system software or OS. (commands translated by command interpreter into signals understood by computer) i.e. Linux
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What is the purpose of memory management?
To provide areas of memory when requested by programs that are running + frees up that memory when it no longer required. OS has to ensure memory is used more efficiently + that important data is not overwritten while a program runs.
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What’s is ROM?
Permanent storage + is non-volatile, so that data is not lost when the system is powered down. Its used for storing instructions for programs that run when the computer is switched on (Windows 7)
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What is RAM?
Volatile memory (temporary- data deleted when the computer’s switched off). Storage used to store programs being used at any time. Used to store data being used at any time. Also for multitasking. Fastest access time =most effective memory.
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What is virtual memory?
When RAM is full, the system slows down. Storage on the hard disk used when RAM is full to temporarily store some of the RAM content. Programs loaded but not currently in use are stored on the hard disk as virtual memory + retrieved when needed.
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What is Cache memory?
A small memory store used directly by the CPU. Holds copies of most frequently used instructions + data to reduce access time + speed up processing.
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What is peripheral management used for in the operating system?
Used to control how computer peripherals interact with the system by physical cable/Wi-fi. Peripherals are hardware devices i.e. memory cards, keyboards etc. Software driver gives details to OS on how to communicate with each hardware device.
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Not important: Give an example of peripheral management using a software driver.
Printer buffer: When a large file is sent to be printed it can be stored on the printer in a queue. As the printer completes each job in the queue, it loads + executes the next one from the local printer RAM.
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What is multitasking?
When a user has more than one program open (or loaded into RAM) at the same time. OS allows user to switch between programs with each program in a different window – more effective in multiple core processor (multiple instructions processed simultane
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What are file access permissions i.e. - - x (execute), r w- (read and write)?
Used to maintain security/privacy of files i.e. bank customer = r - -, staff = r w -. Also when a password is selected by system admin, the password requirement to aid system security = i.e. length of 8 char min, incl no., incl upper + lower case etc
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What are utility programs?
A range of systems software that is designed to help the user manage, maintain + optimise system i.e. File management, memory testing, data compression, anti-virus protection, data synchronisation, disk management + network utilities
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Utility program i.e. virus protection, firewalls + spyware protections are also controlled by the OS. Give examples.
Firewalls prevent unauthorised internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet i.e. home comp system. Anti-virus + spyware protection software scan system to detect + remove rogue programs.
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What is disk formatting?
Involves partitioning the hard disk or dividing it into one or more regions which can be identified as i.e C Drive etc. Often done in
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What is the purpose of a disk defragmentation utility?
It moves all files on disk to make them contiguous (stored in one place so the no. of disk accesses needed to load file is reduced) + ensure that free space is in large continuous blocks - computer performance is improved.
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What is system maintenance?
The OS provides system information for maintenance purposes. Summary incl: amount of physical memory + virtual memory, boot device, BIOS version + processor used. Diagnostic programs also used to test system configuration/hardware i.e. check disk uti
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What is the purpose of system clean up tools?
A utility program that detects + deletes unused temporary files often left on the hard disk after exiting a program, wasting a lot of disk space.
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What is automatic updating?
A utility that can be set up to ensure that the software is up to date.
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What is applications software?
Software designed to help carry out user-related tasks i.e. Word processing software (Microsoft word), Spreadsheet software, Desktop publishing software (m publisher).
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What is off the shelf software and what are the advanatages?
Packages readily available for immediate purchase + installation. Pros: Cheaper due to large number of customer, support available (i.e.websites, forums etc.) + readily available for use from shop + software downloads.
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What are the disadvantages of Off-the-Shelf Software?
May be complicated to learn + use and may have features not need, doesn’t give a competitive advantage as all your business rivals will be using the same software + it may not meet all of your business requirements.
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What is custom-written software?
Software developed as a particular solution for an organisation. Designed to meet all customer requirements (more efficient), unavailable to business rivals –competitive advantage but takes time to develop + user support is limited (not widely used)
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What is open source software and what are the advantages?
Software that permits the user to copy, edit + change the software as required. Pros: free, source code continually developed so new features added regularly, source code readily available (can be modified)
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What are the limitations of Open Source software?
Expertise is needed if the software needs to be adapted for a particular situation. Open source software normally lacks support, software quality + responsibility to fix bugs not guaranteed, must be distributed in a form that can be read + edited.
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What is proprietary software?
Licensed to the purchaser + gives the right to use the software but not to modify or redistribute it. Pros: software coded + modified by manufacturer whom normally provides support (help pages, wizards + online vid instruction) + tests system extensi
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What are the Limitations of Proprietary software?
Can be expensive as licenses have to be bought for each workstation software is loaded onto. New versions regularly release = pressure + cost involved to upgrade
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How is software installed on dedicated systems?


On a chip of some sort. This software is specific to the job and is only changed when updated i.e. a washing machine embedded system is only ever going to run software to control a washing machin

Card 3


What are multi-purpose computers?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What are the three types of software?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is system software?


Preview of the front of card 5
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Does this contain everything I need to know for chapter 3?

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